Monday, February 11, 2013

New Brunswick On Top

By Andrew McGilligan
SN Staff

A quick look at the scoring leaders on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League website might give anyone from New Brunswick pause.

As of Monday, three players from the province were among the top 20 scorers in the league - one in the top spot - while another leads all defencemen in points. If the trend holds out, the 2012-13 season could be the best ever for players from the province.

Peter Trainor of Fredericton leads all Q scorers with 86 points in just 54 games played with the Rimouski Oceanic. The other two provincial point-getters are the always reliable Saulnier twins of Cap-Pelé currently suiting up for the Moncton Wildcats. Allain is tied for 13th in scoring with 67 points while brother Alex is deadlocked for 17th with 64.

On the blue line, former Saint John Sea Dogs rearguard and current Oceanic Kevin Gagne of Edmundston leads all D-men with 58 points in 48 games. Drummondville Voltigeurs boast the sixth most productive defenceman this season in Riverview's Jordan Murray (39 points in 51 games).

It's an impressive crop of NB players skating and dominating in the Q this season. An argument could even be made that if Trainor holds on to the scoring lead, he would be the first NBer to do so in league history. Sean Couturier won the title in the 09-10, but was born in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Bathurst with his family when the Titan - whom his father Sylvain works for - relocated from Laval.

Trainor has built on his success last season where he notched 56 points in the regular season before adding another 18 in Rimouski's improbable run to the President's Cup final. Along with Gagne, the duo form one of the best power play units in the league and will look to parlay their regular season success into another deep playoff run.

While there's been more highly touted players in the past including Couturier, Patrice Cormier and Kelsey Tessier, this seasons offering could be the one to set the standard for all NB players going forward.

While NB players are doing very well on the score sheet, Atlantic Canada is dominating when it comes to the league’s top snipers. Seven of the top 20 scorers are from the Atlantic provinces including four of the top five point getters in the Q. Another five in the top 20 are import players and the remaining eight are Quebec born.

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